Two William Floyd students – Julia Abbaticchio, a sixth-grader at William Floyd Middle School, and KeQing Wang, an 11th grader at William Floyd High School, recently qualified to compete in the 2018 MathCON Finals held at the University of Illinois in Chicago, a prestigious mathematics competition for students in grades five through 12 focusing on various disciplines of mathematics including algebra, geometry, measurement, data analysis, number systems, pre-calculus and more.
This year, more than 52,000 students (public, private, charter and home school) from approximately 500 schools in 46 states participated with only the top 576 students earning the right to compete in the MathCON Finals. To qualify for the finals, Julia and KeQing scored in the top 99% of all the students tested.
Julia had the honor of representing William Floyd at the competition along with her teacher, Michael Rivera. KeQing, who qualified for the MathCON Finals for the second consecutive year, was unable to attend due to the competition falling on the same day as the administration of the SAT.
During the finals, Julia went head-to-head with other competitors in a 90-minuted timed test with 70 questions including multiple choice and constructed response. Although she did not place in the finals, she put forth a great effort and scoring in the top one percent of all competitors is quite the accomplishment, noted Mr. Rivera. At the competition, Julia and Mr. Rivera also had the opportunity to witness a Rubik’s Cube competition, attend seminars focusing on the importance of mathematics and more.
“We are incredibly proud of Julia and KeQing for qualifying for the MathCON Finals, a competition among the best and brightest young scholars in America including many from magnet schools, engineering high schools and private academies whose primary focus is STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics),” said Dr. Donna Watkins, Director of Secondary Education and STEM, William Floyd School District. “The STEM field is an important part of our future and we actively encourage our teachers and students to find fun ways to use STEM inside and outside of the classroom.”
MathCON was created in 2008 by Concept Schools as a Midwest competition with just 125 participants and has since grown to a national event. MathCON’s goal is to engage students in STEM outside of the classroom and encourage more students to enter the STEM fields, which are currently some of the fastest-growing industries in the United States.